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If I can do it, anyone can!

Finding A Trainer

About Trainers

Why work with a Personal Fitness Trainer (PFT)? A good PFT helps a client determine a realistic set of fitness goals and guides the client towards these goals in a safe and effective manner. A PFT wears many hats... At times the PFT is a coach, a teacher, a motivator, a facilitator and above all else, a listener. A good PFT views the client as a unique individual and takes this individual's characteristics into consideration when designing an exercise program. An 80-year-old person would certainly not benefit from an exercise program used by a 20-year-old bodybuilder!

Clients hire PFT's not only for their expertise, but to provide accountability and companionship. Many individuals who would otherwise miss a workout make it to the gym knowing that they have a paid professional waiting that will help them unload stress and gain fitness.

Finding A Personal Fitness Trainer (PFT)

Finding a PFT is relatively easy; the important part is screening and selecting a PFT. Once you have determined your goals, your commitment to your goals and your time availability, you are ready to begin your search. If you already belong to a health club, you have two options. One option is to contact the club's Fitness Director and request a PFT. The Fitness Director will then do his/her best to match you up...

I recommend a different approach... If you have friends or acquaintances that train with a PFT, ask for their recommendations. Also, make it a point to work out at different days and times and observe the PFT in action. Does the PFT appear to know what he/she is doing? Does the PFT pay attention to and listen to the client? Is the PFT able to motivate the client through a challenging, yet appropriate workout? (You want to make sure that the PFT's attention is focused entirely on the client and not looking away from the client at other people or at themselves in the mirror! You also don't want a PFT that will spend inordinate amounts of time chatting with the client and not getting the client through the workout!)

The trainer and his student

The trainer and his student

Once you have identified a PFT candidate, I recommend contacting the PFT directly and set up a meeting. Ask about the PFT's training and education, but most importantly his or her experience. A good PFT will tell you about areas of specialization and not claim, "I can train anybody!" The last and most important thing you need to determine is chemistry. Do you like this individual? You are going to be spending a lot of time with this person. Do your personalities mesh?

My approach should help you find a good PFT at your health club. How do you find a good PFT if you do not belong to a health club and/or want the PFT to train you at your home? Go to the IDEA Health & Fitness Association Web site.

You will then be able to search for a PFT within a given radius of your zip code.

Once you have found your PFT make sure you are always honest and open with him or her. Always tell your PFT about any medical issues, injuries or concerns you may be experiencing.

Good luck and great fitness!

XBigMan Testimonial

"I was a 49-year old amateur triathlete looking for ways to increase my speed and endurance, as well as improve my swimming abilities and confidence. I had just finished the Wildflower Olympic Distance Triathlon, but was disappointed that I wasn't faster... in fact, they were closing the finish line when I came in! I needed someone or something to inspire me to train harder, or simply to get me off the couch!

One day I saw an ad for Mark's Tri-A-Triathlon Class and I immediately signed up for the 6:30 AM session. During the course of the class, and knowing Mark, we learned about power swim drills, bike racing techniques, training course tactics, brick workouts, strength workouts and much more.

Having Mark as a trainer and hearing about his competition in triathlons really motivated me to train not only harder, but smarter! As a result of meeting Mark, I have taken his Tri-A -Triathlon class 3 times and have gone on to place 7th in my age group at the 2003 Treasure Island Triathlon and 1st Place at the 2003 Tahoe Donner Sprint Triathlon.

Mark was an inspiration to all of us who met him!"

Mary T. Aycock